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What is a smart meter, do I have to have one, how long does it take to fit and what happens if I switch supplier?

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SMART meters are being offered to all UK households, and they could help you save money on your energy bills.

They’ve been rolled out over the past few years, and give real time information on gas and electricity usage.

 The smart meters have already been installed in millions of homes

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The smart meters have already been installed in millions of homesCredit: Alamy

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters are gas and electricity meters that can digitally send readings to your energy supplier.

They show you how much energy you are using in pounds and pence.

Unlike traditional meters, which simply register a running total of energy used, smart meters can record half-hourly price and consumption data and provide automatic meter readings to your energy supplier.

Most homes have two meters, one for gas and one for electricity – both will be replaced with smart meters.

You will also be offered an In-Home Display to show you the cost and amount of energy you are using.

It will update every 30 minutes for gas and in near real-time for electricity.

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Do I have to have a smart meter?

Previously, the Government had pledged to install meters in ALL homes but it later changed the rules to make the scheme optional for householders.

It was aiming to offer smart meters to all Brits by 2020, but it has fallen behind on the rollout.

How do I read a smart meter?

Smart meters are designed so that you no longer need to send energy suppliers readings once you’ve got one.

And it lets you track how much energy you use at night, during the day and peak times.

What are the benefits of installing a smart meter?

They don’t cost you anything and installed by your energy supplier without being charged.

Smart meters automatically send readings to your energy supplier so you don’t have to.

You can save money on your energy bills because it’s supposed to give an accurate reading rather than an estimated one.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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